Today, we are proud to be American!
After nine years, the U.S. military has formally ended its mission in Iraq!
U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta flew into Baghdad today to partake in a low-key ceremony outside a terminal, during which American troops lowered their command's flag that officially marked Operation New Dawn, rolled it around the staff, and slipped into a camouflage cloth case.
"To be sure, the cost was high, in blood and treasure for the United States and for the Iraqi people. Those lives were not lost in vain. They gave birth to an independent, free and sovereign Iraq. Let me be clear. Iraq will be tested in the days ahead by terrorism and by those who would seek to divide it; by economic and social issues; by the demands of democracy itself. Challenges remain, but the U.S. will stand by the Iraqi people as they navigate those challenges to build a stronger and more prosperous nation.”
We were starting to worry whether or not we'd ever see this day come!
But we're so thankful that it has!
[Image via AP Images.]